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Copying from one hard drive to another

penneck
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Copying from one hard drive to another

I have an old Dell GX270, but have just been given a not-so-old Dell Optiplex 775 without a hard drive - it used to have an 80GB SATA hard drive. The drive in the GX270 has an IDE interface, so I cannot just transfer that to the 775. I can get and fit a new SATA hard drive, but that leads me to two groups of questions:-
1. do I need to worry about which version of SATA interface the new hard drive has?
2. how can I do a full copy (and I mean full) from the hard drive on my old pc to the new hard drive? I understand one way is to fit my old hard disk externally to the 775 (connected via a USB interface), with the new SATA hard disk in the 775. I can get hold of a copy of Ghost 11.5, but when I boot from Ghost, will that do the trick of then transferring the data from the old disk to the new one, and will that include making the new disk a bootable disk?
Thanks for your help
19 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

I have done this in an even older Dell OptiPlex Gx110 using HDClone (free) I my case I installed a larger IDE HD 160GB to replace the 8GB original as a second HD and copied the lot quite successfully, booting up quite normally.. I believe that HDClone can cope with SATA OK. But I am not sure if the change of drive format is significant.
penneck
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

Thankyou Colin. I'm sure that Ghost can cope with a hard drive no matter what type of interface. I just wanted confirmation that it would create a bootable copy of the older drive, and that I was using the correct method.
As far as the interface was concerned, I was worried because some hard drives are advertised as SATA-600, and I'd never heard of SATA-600. Dabs.Com advertises some SATA drives as SATA-600 and others as just SATA. Investigating what SATA-600 was led me to finding that some SATA interfaces have a speed of 150MB/s, some are 300 and some are 600, but nothing pointed to something actually called SATA-600. I was just being cautious before I went buying new drives.
Regards
steveuk
Grafter
Posts: 199
Registered: 02-02-2013

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

All sata drives are supose to fall back to the old interface but some hard drives can be funny but 99% of the time they are backwards compatable
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

I had one which I needed to jumper which is unusual
steveuk
Grafter
Posts: 199
Registered: 02-02-2013

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

Yes some of the first lot of sata drives did have a jumper so you could choose between sata modes but i haven't seen a drive like that for a long time now.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

Unless you have a copy of Ghost, search for clonezilla (free). Create a cd from the image and boot from it. You can then create a copy of the old drive on the new one.
penneck
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

Thanks Hairy Biker. I have access to Ghost 11.5 so I will try that.
Regards and thanks to all
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

BTW Clonezilla will also clone over the network, so if you have the ide in one pc and the sata in another you can still clone it.
penneck
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Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

An update - I have used Ghost to copy the old hard drive to the new (in the new pc), but when I try to boot up the new pc, it brings up the list where it allows you to select Safe Mode or Normal, etc, but whichever I choose, the pc just goes back to the beginning of reboot and goes round the loop again.
Have I done something wrong, or am I doing something that just wont work? Is this a driver problem?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

Did you copy the boot drive from the old PC to the new PC and was this on a separate hard drive or did you overwrite the existing operating system
You do realise that the windows on the old PC is locked to that and won't work on the new one
Superuser
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

Windows will need reregistering but it should at least boot ok.
Make sure the SATA mode is set to ATA in the BIOS. If its set to AHCI then it will need the correct SATA drivers installed in order to work correctly.
http://www.waynezim.com/2009/07/install-windows-xp-on-dell-optiplex-755-760-960-without-ahci-sata-dr...
penneck
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

I have checked the BIOS - it is set to ATA.
I fitted a brand new hard drive in the new pc. I removed the old hard drive from the old pc and mounted it in an external chassis that has a USB interface. I then connected that on the new pc via a USB port. I fitted the Ghost CD in the new pc dvd drive, and booted up. I ran through the Ghost process copying from the old hard drive to the new. The report on the new hard drive afterwards semed to indicate that it was programmed. I removed the Ghost CD, turned off the new pc, disconnected the old hard drive, and restarted the new pc. The new pc goes into this continuos cycle of doing the initial bootup to the list where I can select Normal or Safe Mode, but after about 30 seconds (if I do nothing) goes back to the Dell display (where you hit F2 if you want to go into the BIOS). If I select Safe Mode, it goes through that high-speed display of what ever Safe Mode always does before it opens a Safe Windows Desktop, but doesn't get to the Safe Windows Desktop because it goes back to the Dell display
Regards
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

What were you expecting to happen?  You have made an exact copy of a hard drive with all the drivers configured for the hardware belonging to one computer then connected that hard drive to a different computer with different hardware and expected it to work.  If you had been lucky you might have been able to start in Safe Mode and redeem the situation but you were not lucky and so you face the normal consequence of what you are trying to do - the computer rapidly crashes and (because by default it automatically restarts) you find yourself in a loop.
What you should have done is borrowed a Windows disc for whatever version of Windows is on the Optiplex 775, installed it on your blank hard drive, downloaded and installed the drivers from the Dell web site the transferred the data from your old computer. 
penneck
Rising Star
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Copying from one hard drive to another

Yes ReedRichard, I was trying this method to see if it would work (and to avoid having to re-install a load of software, but I guess that is what I shall have to do.
Thanks to all for your help